(COLUMBUS, Ohio) Today Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine pledged to focus efforts on removing guns from violent repeat criminals. He announced the formation of a new Ohio Attorney General Gun Crime Advisory Group.
“As I travel across Ohio, I am constantly talking with law enforcement officers about the huge problem of convicted felons who are using guns. This is especially a problem in Ohio’s big cities,” said Attorney General DeWine. “What we need to do is get these criminals off the streets. They shouldn’t have the weapons in the first place. And we see the same people over and over again committing violent crimes.”
The Advisory Group, which will convene in the next two weeks, will include prosecutors and law enforcement officers who deal daily with tragedies caused by felons using guns. The group will also include gun advocacy groups.
In addition to the growing concern of Attorney General DeWine and law enforcement officers in every corner of the state, the statistics are staggering. As noted recently in The Columbus Dispatch’s series on gun violence, officers across the state investigated 12,550 incidents in 2009, in which a gun was present. That’s about 34 per day. Also in 2009, guns were used in 62 percent of all homicides and in 41 percent of all robberies.
“From the time I was Greene County Prosecutor and an Ohio Senator, I have been concerned about getting repeat offenders who use guns to commit crimes off our streets,” DeWine said. “When I was in the Ohio Senate, I wrote S.B. 199 to increase the penalties for felons using guns in the commission of a crime. We need to get and keep these people behind bars.”
Lisa Hackley 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller 614-466-3840